Sales forecasts for the year are up. Factories are humming. And by all accounts there will be a surge in production in the second quarter, especially by the Japanese automakers.
Even the U.S. economy seems to be slowly making its way into positive territory.
The good news is that this is an opportunity for automakers -- particularly Toyota and Honda -- to win back share that was lost during difficult times. Toyota, for one, will launch a barrage of marketing support when most of the new inventory arrives.
The cautionary tale: Automakers must not resort to old habits, including hefty incentive spending, which ultimately leads to pricing pressures and a return to the bad old days of automotive retailing.
Discipline is key in the new world. We'll be interested to see how long it lasts.